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PM heads to US for third summit meeting with Obama

President Obama has described India-US relations as one of the "defining partnerships of the 21st century".



New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh leaves here on Wednesday on a five-day visit to the US during which he will hold summit talks with President Barack Obama as well as address the UN General Assembly.

The prime minister in all likelihood could also meet Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the UNGA. He is also meeting his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina.

The prime minister will travel to New York to address the UNGA Sep 28. A meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistan counterpart is likely on Sep 29 on the sidelines of the UNGA.

Manmohan Singh`s meeting with Obama in Washington on Sep 27, his third summit meeting with the US president, is expected to focus on implementation of the landmark India-US civil nuclear deal, enhancing defence cooperation and the situation in the region, including Afghanistan with the US-led forces to drawdown next year.

President Obama has described India-US relations as one of the "defining partnerships of the 21st century". Vice President Joe Biden and US Secretary of State John Kerry visited India earlier this year to set the stage for Manmohan Singh`s working visit.

On the sidelines of the Manmohan Singh-Barack Obama meeting, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) and US firm Westinghouse are expected to ink a preliminary agreement - the Pre Early Works Agreement - to initiate implementation of the 2010 civil nuclear deal.

The two sides are expected to explore ways of expanding defence ties beyond a buyer-seller relationship to a joint partnership in design, development and production of defence material.

The Prime Minister is also likely to take up India`s concerns over the proposed US Immigration Reforms Bill, and point out that it would adversely impact the highly-skilled IT professionals from India.

Manmohan Singh is likely to highlight the recent slew of economic reforms undertaken by the government, of opening up the economy to foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi brand retail.

Ahead of his visit, an apex body of American manufacturers has launched a massive anti-India campaign in the US protesting India`s allegedly discriminatory trade practices. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has alleged that the Indian government agencies and courts have "engaged in a persistent pattern of discrimination and forced localisation designed to benefit India`s corporations at the expense of manufacturing jobs in the US".

The US is also expected to air its concerns over India`s Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) regime.

IANS

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